Debt: Like Running with a Ball and Chain

Via Flickr by user Tim Green. Used under Creative Commons License

Picture this: You’ve been imprisoned (unjustly) for the last five years. After some hard work and Shawshank Redemption style scheming, you’ve found a way out. Your plan is foolproof — you know when the guards change shifts, how to sneak out of the cell block, and where to find that small hole in the outer fence. There’s just one hitch… the thirty-pound iron ball chained to your ankle.

Is escape possible? Sure, you can bust out, even with your arms full of added weight. But sooner or later, the prison guards are going to notice that you’ve gone missing, and they’ll come after you with a pack of dogs and pepper spray. You’re not going to move very quickly with a weight shackled to your ankle. You may try to bring along a file, and slowly shave off the sides of the ball and chain until they wear down to nothing. But chances are, you’ll never make it that long — with something so heavy weighing you down, your oppressors will catch you before you can rid yourself of the weight.

So it is with debt, a financial problem that has become so commonplace that it is the norm for American families, businesses and the government itself. And in case you haven’t noticed, our collective debt load has been slowing us down a lot.

What’s wrong with debt? Well, everything. I once heard someone say that debt is using your future to pay for your past. And the Bible makes it clear that debt puts us into financial slavery.

In America, we tend to think that using debt is the best way to make big purchases, from education to cars and everything in between. The reality, though, is that debt actually lessens our buying power, since the interest that we pay to service the debt adds up to much more than the cost of the item we purchased.

For those of us trying to run to godly financial freedom, debt can be one of the biggest things encumbering us. It’s like trying to run with that 30-pound weight: You can do it, but you’ll never be as fast or effective as you were made to be.

Think of it this way: The more you owe on your car or credit card payment each month, the less money you have to give to your church or ministry organization. The more money you spend servicing debt, the less you can afford to invest in building a solid financial future for your family. You can’t become a full-time missionary if you don’t have a way to pay off the $50,000 of student loans you racked up attending a Christian college.

Debt is a major issue with the American church, and there are plenty of teachers who do an excellent job of showing people how to get out of this form of slavery. We’ll talk a lot more about debt (and how to avoid it and how to get out of it) later on. But for the time being, while we’re searching our hearts to see if money has made slaves of us, doesn’t honesty require us to shine a bright light on this shadowy financial subject?

Up next: How envy infiltrates your mind



  1. An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto
    a colleague who had been doing a little research on this.
    And he actually ordered me breakfast due to the fact that I
    discovered it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this….
    Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time
    to talk about this matter here on your internet site.


  1. […] next: The borrower is slave to the lender Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in […]

  2. […] it. Why? Because debt is one of the enemy’s chief ways of tying God’s people up in financial bondage. If you don’t believe me, check out Proverbs 22:7 – “The rich rule over the […]

  3. […] this rate, our young friend is headed quickly to a life of financial slavery, struggling to pay the minimums on his debt and wondering where it all went wrong. It doesn’t […]

  4. […] to be the master of your money… that’s great. You’re committed to getting out of debt, spending wisely and giving to support good causes. But how do you take these good ideas and turn […]

  5. […] so heavily in these cases. Debt is not part of God’s plan for your life. Debt puts us into financial slavery. Remember what Proverbs 22:7 says: The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the […]

  6. […] The truth is that many, many people live debt free — Laura and I among them. True, it’s not always easy, and there are luxuries that we bypass to stay away from borrowing. But the rewards of financial freedom far outweigh our small sacrifices. And we’re not alone — around the country, thousands upon thousands of families pay off their debts every year, and vow never to go back. Debt-free living is not just a fantasy; it’s a real, achievable financial discipline that allows us to be masters of our own money, instead of letting money and debt master us. […]

  7. […] talked a lot about debt and how it tricks us into financial slavery. So this article isn’t here to convince you that debt in general is a bad thing. Rather, […]

  8. […] makes slaves of us in subtle ways. We can fall in to debt, become greedy, develop stingy hearts, or live our lives in a psychological state of poverty. […]

  9. […] especially when we begin spending unwisely simply because we think it’s our prerogative. Debt often follows close […]

  10. […] On the other hand, saving for emergencies removes risk from our lives. You may have an unexpected $5,000 expense come up one day… and if you have the cash saved to cover it, your total expenditure will be $5,000. But if you have to borrow money to fix the problem, you’re spending $5,000 plus years of interest payments. Emergency savings protects us from having to make expensive interest payments on borrowed money. And it keeps us free from the spiritual bondage of debt. […]

  11. […] and stick to it. You had to live below your means so that you could get out from beneath the burden of your debt as quickly as possible. And then you had to work to store up emergency savings to cover you when […]

  12. […] we’ve mastered our money and escaped the financial dangers of debt and out-of-control spending, we can make our money work for us. That means making the money that we […]

  13. […] hope that by now we’ve convinced you that debt is a form of financial slavery. It’s not something that God designed to be a part of your […]

  14. […] saving for them in advance of when you plan to buy them, you can pay cash and avoid the dangers of going into debt for consumer goods, or having to take out home-equity loans to make home […]

  15. […] is certainly clueless about it), debt is detrimental to our spiritual and financial health. It makes us slaves, and holds us back from accomplishing what we want to with our money. In order to overcome this […]

  16. […] you’ve worked hard to master your money, then you’ve overcome debt, learned to budget your spending and started saving for emergencies and big purchases. All of those […]

  17. […] of you. In sneaky and pernicious ways, money takes hold of our hearts, making us captives to greed, debt, poverty, insecurity and other bondage. If we’re not careful, we can wake up one day to find […]

  18. […] space fortress can teach you a lot about how to attack your debts. Just like the evil Empire, debt has a lot of us trapped in a systemic bondage that robs us of our financial and spiritual freedom. Many people don’t […]

  19. […] make us slaves, that laziness leads to poverty, that overspending robs us of our futures and that borrowing money traps us in bondage. If you’re willing to study the word, learn from wise people that have come before you and […]

  20. […] Debt is slavery, and the only way to escape it is to take on the mentality of a Freedom Fighter. Even with a great plan of action and a focused attack, it’s going to take you a while to achieve total victory. The struggle may be stressful at times, and it will definitely test your stamina. Even when you are making all the right moves, you may still feel like you’re having a hard time. […]

  21. […] debt is slavery, and borrowing creates an unbalanced dynamic between two people. No matter how close a relationship […]

  22. […] general, borrowing money is a bad plan, because debt is equivalent to financial slavery. There is one notable exception though: When we buy houses, home mortgages can be valuable tools. […]

  23. […] talked in theory about a lot of the ways that money can make you a slave: greed, stinginess, envy, debt and the like. But it’s also instructive to study the lives of people who exhibit the signs of […]

  24. […] borrowing as a personal financial strategy. According to the Bible, debt puts us in a position of financial slavery. And though our society tells us lots of myths about debt and borrowing, math tells us another […]

  25. […] been discussing home mortgages a lot lately. Though consumer debt is dangerous in personal finance, home mortgages are the exception to the debt rule. When we use wisdom in […]

  26. […] We’ve talked before about how debt is dangerous — in fact, we believe that it’s a form of financial slavery. Debt limits our ability to make the decisions that we want for our lives, and can cost us untold […]

  27. […] wealth and material possessions are tricky — if we’re not careful, things like greed, debt, envy and discontentment can make slaves of us. In this series, we’ve seen how some of those […]

  28. […] too few people realize it, debt is almost always a bad a idea. Of course, many people borrow and lend money with good intentions, looking to help people pay for […]

  29. […] that prey on the weaknesses and ignorance of the poor and vulnerable. Although we believe that all debt is slavery, many people get into credit card debt, medical debt, student loan debt and other kinds of issues […]

  30. […] you’ve spent much time on this site, you know that we’re no fans of debt — debt is financial slavery that traps millions of people in bondage for years. Debt is bad for individuals, bad for businesses […]

  31. […] course, none of this changes the most fundamental fact about personal finance: All debt is slavery, no matter who sells it to you. There’s no such thing as good debt. And it’s almost […]

  32. […] Because pawn lending doesn’t trap anyone in debt. The thing that makes debt so financially dangerous is that it follows you around throughout life until you’re able to pay it off, taking a bite […]

  33. […] is debt such a big deal? There are a bunch of reasons. The first is that debt makes slaves of us — Proverbs 22:7 tells us that “the borrower is slave to the […]

  34. […] is debt such a big deal? There are a bunch of reasons. The first is that debt makes slaves of us — Proverbs 22:7 tells us that “the borrower is slave to the […]

  35. […] like a great, immediate solution to the issue of growth. We know from scripture, however, that debt is slavery, and we’ve seen how debt has killed great ministry organizations. So, is it advisable for […]

  36. […] you’ve read much on this site, you probably know that we’re no fans of debt — we believe that debt is a form of money slavery that can bind up your financial life for […]

  37. […] God, Money and Me, we’re firm believers that all debt is bad: Carrying debt is a form of financial slavery, and getting into the habit of borrowing money can severely damage your wealth-generating power […]

  38. […] like a great deal at the time that you open one. But they’re no great deal at all. Like any product that adds debt to your life, they’re dangerous. And once you look at the terms of the deal (which nobody does when […]

  39. […] how attractive or necessary it might seem, borrowing money to finance your lifestyle will always make a slave of you. No matter what kind of financial straits you find yourself in, borrowing money isn’t the […]

  40. […] the years when they can least afford to lose you — i.e., your working years. If you’ve stayed out of debt, saved and invested well, however, you should have a strong portfolio by the time you retire (say […]

  41. […] for a while, you likely already know how we feel about debt. It’s one of the chief forms of financial slavery out there, and it does no shortage of damage to your life. You may also know that we’re big […]

  42. […] at God, Money & Me, we’re no fans of debt. Borrowing money traps us in financial slavery, and it makes everything that you buy more expensive. Interest-free financing plans can sound like […]

  43. […] the story, though, let’s establish a foundation: Debt is always a bad thing. Borrowing money makes slaves of us, and can force us into precarious financial situations. Living a lifestyle  of debt can create a […]

  44. […] are all sorts of ways that money can make slaves of us — debt, selfishness, greed, envy, etc. — and that slavery can stand in the way of us living the […]

  45. […] is an insidious and tricky form of financial slavery. It’s easy to get in to, but can be very tough to get out of. And it’s very expensive: […]

  46. […] are, the Jones’ are money slaves. They may be in debt up to their eyeballs, or perhaps they’re consumed with greed. Maybe they spend so much money […]

  47. […] Wrong. Though many people get into microlending with noble intentions, those that work closely in the field have found that the microlending industry has become largely misguided. Microlending is poorly regulated and poorly understood, by both borrowers and lenders, and, like all debt, it tends to trap those who use it in cycles of poverty. […]

  48. […] is the millstone strapped around the neck of the modern consumer, dragging you deeper and deeper into financial ruin. Debt is a form of […]

  49. […] Debt is a form of financial slavery, and it always does more harm than good. Unfortunately, it has become so prevalent in modern society that we have begun to make excuses and rationalizations for it. In fact, a whole cloud of myth surrounds debt, deceiving people into thinking that it’s okay to borrow money. But it’s not okay — the myths are deceptive, and they never stand up against solid financial reasoning. […]

  50. […] problem is that borrowing money turns good intentions into bad ideas. All debt is financial slavery, and while it can seem attractive at first, debt always pulls us down in the long run. And as […]

  51. […] That debt often sticks around for years or even decades, and can really hold you back financially. Debt is financial slavery, so you should pay it off as quickly as you can in order to set yourself […]

  52. […] firm believers that debt is a form of financial slavery, and something that everyone needs to stay away from. In addition to the way that it creates cycles […]

  53. […] let’s review: Debt is never a good thing, because it creates a form of spiritual and financial slavery that can subtly control your life. If you’ve worked hard to get out of debt, you likely […]

  54. […] is causing continued stress or fear in your life, you’re likely dealing with an issue such as debt, poverty mentality, or undisciplined spending. Dealing with these underlying issues will help you […]

  55. […] case you haven’t figured it out yet, I believe that debt is a horrible thing. It makes slaves out of us and adds large amounts of risk to our lives. And while you may think that you can handle your […]

  56. […] debt deals to keep up with the people you’re trying to impress. This is never a good plan: Debt is a form of financial slavery that adds considerable risk to your life. If you use debt to finance your lifestyle, you should […]

  57. […] something important you need to know: Debt is a terrible thing. Borrowing money puts us in financial and spiritual slavery. Even if you’re borrowing money for something that seems like a noble cause (like buying […]

  58. […] us, here’s where things stand: We’re no fans of debt — we believe that it’s a form of financial slavery that brings us a lot more harm than good in life. The best way to live in financial freedom is to […]

  59. […] studied many of the different ways that this can happen. Some are obvious, like greed and debt. Others are more subtle, like the slavery of discontentment or false expectations. Pride falls in […]

  60. […] you’re new to God, Money & Me, let me bring you up to speed quickly: We believe that all debt is a form of financial slavery. Living a lifestyle that is dependent on borrowed money is incredibly expensive, and can hold you […]

  61. […] principles. The first is a refrain that will be familiar to frequent readers of this site: Debt is a form of financial slavery. Any time you borrow money, you give up your financial freedom, and make yourself a slave to the […]

  62. […] is a trap that is very easy to fall into, and it happens in more ways then you might think. Yes, debt and poverty are obvious examples of financial slavery, but money can creep into our hearts and […]

  63. […] Debt is a bad deal in so many ways. It’s costly, it’s habit-forming and it leads you into a kind of financial and spiritual slavery. […]

  64. […] see, the Bible’s fundamental teaching about debt is that all debt is slavery. When we borrow money, the obligation we take on can extend far into the future and tie up our […]

  65. […] most couples actually accumulate more debt as they go in life. This is a really bad thing, because debt is a form of financial slavery that costs us tons of money over the course of our […]

  66. […] the lender,” which means that if you borrow money from your brother, you enter into a kind of financial slavery to him. There’s a big difference between a healthy brother-sister relationship and a […]

  67. […] no fans of debt here at God, Money & Me. The Bible tells us that debt is a form of financial slavery, and we believe that borrowing money holds us back from doing the many important things that we […]

  68. […] written extensively about the problems with debt on this site. It’s a form of financial and spiritual slavery, it costs you tons of cash in the long run, and it holds us back from accomplishing important […]

  69. […] happens without us being aware of it. We can become slaves to greed, slaves to poverty, slaves to debt and even slaves to other people’s expectations regarding our […]

  70. […] bigger problem is that debt is financial slavery, and the Bible specifically warns us against it. If you take out a mortgage — even just […]

  71. […] of all, I want to tell you that debt is always a bad thing — it’s a form of financial slavery that can have sever consequences that last the rest of your life. And while it can be tempting to […]

  72. […] Because pawn lending doesn’t trap anyone in debt. The thing that makes debt so financially dangerous is that it follows you around throughout life until you’re able to pay it off, taking a bite out […]

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